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Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ): A Brief Instrument for the Pediatric Emergency Department | Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

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Oct 11, 2012

The objective of the survey was to develop a brief screening instrument to assess the risk for suicide in pediatric emergency department patients. A total of 524 patients were screened (344 medical/surgical and 180 psychiatric). Fourteen of the medical/surgical patients (4%) and 84 of the psychiatric patients (47%) were at elevated suicide risk on the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire. Of the 17 candidate questions, the best-fitting model comprised 4 questions assessing current thoughts of being better off dead, current wish to die, current suicidal ideation, and past suicide attempt. This model had a sensitivity of 96.9% (95% CI, 91.3-99.4), specificity of 87.6% (95% CI, 84.0-90.5), and negative predictive values of 99.7% (95% CI, 98.2-99.9) for medical/surgical patients and 96.9% (95% CI, 89.3-99.6) for psychiatric patients.

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The findings and conclusions in these newsletter materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Children's Safety Network.